Some locals concerned about 'scary clown' craze while others are - KPTV - FOX 12

Some locals concerned about 'scary clown' craze while others are profiting from it

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BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

A scary clown craze is taking the country by storm, and now local police departments and school districts are trying to calm people’s nerves.

The clown craze started in South Carolina in August after unconfirmed reports that people dressed as clowns were trying to lure kids into the woods.

Now, this scary frenzy has grown legs and some around Portland are jumping on the bandwagon.

Heather Rose of Beaverton’s Halloween Warehouse has just about everything, but this year it's her clown masks that are flying out the door.

“It seems like we ordered more this year, but we've also sold a lot more this year. A lot more,” Rose said.

The popularity of the costumes might be getting a boost by stories around the country of frightening clowns showing up and scaring neighbors.

Rose is tickled by the idea.

“People think clowns are the scariest thing around and the fact that people are popping up all over the place is kind of funny,” Rose said.

But, not everyone thinks like Rose.

“The whole clown thing scares a lot of people anyway and this is getting really dangerous,” concerned grandmother Brenda Cunningham said.

While there have been very few reports of actual crimes in clown masks locally, on Tuesday in Dallas, Oregon, police say someone wearing a clown mask scared and chased some middle school kids walking to school. Police are still investigating.

Other police agencies have tried to calm fears and stop people from doing anything illegal.

“There's no crime of a clown walking down the sidewalk. But, if you're deciding that you're going to hide in some bushes and jump out at people as they walk by, then that potentially is a crime,” Beaverton Police Officer Mike Rowe said.

On Tuesday, the Hillsboro School District sent out a note to parents saying there were no clown threats to their schools.

Even with all of the bad press, Rose is enjoying this sudden craze. After all, it's good for business and, in her eyes, all in good fun.

“I love it. I think it's fun. The fact that people are just popping up everywhere I think is hilarious,” Rose said.

Police want you to remember that jumping out and scaring someone could be considered disorderly conduct. Chasing someone is considered menacing. Both crimes, you could get arrested for.

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